Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and in the absence of a cure, timely diagnosis to provide early intervention and support to patients and carers is becoming an increasing focus.
September is Dementia Awareness month and SNPHN is dedicated to providing support to general practices in the timely diagnosis of dementia. Diagnosing dementia can be very difficult due to the varying onset of the disease. The Northern Sydney region has a high ageing population and needs to focus solutions that meet the needs of the people living with dementia. We aim to build capacity within primary care to better understand the needs of people living with dementia to navigate our complex health system.
In January this year SNPHN embarked on a Quality Improvement (QI) program aimed at improving early identification and diagnosis of dementia. Participating practices are assisted in analysing their data and completing QI activities. The program encourages each practice to look at seven indicators to improve outcomes for patients and carers.
The seven Indicators:
- Dementia Register – patients with a diagnosis of dementia
- 75+ Health Assessment completed
- Reducing cardiovascular disease risk
- My Health Record and uploaded Shared Health Summary
- Carer Identified
- Home Medication Review (HMR) completed
- Identify patients at high risk of dementia
The program runs for 12 months and is due to end in December. SNPHN has proud to support improved dementia care in the region and promote awareness of dementia especially during the month of September.